The LeBrons first appeared in a series of Nike commercials that look more like failed audition tapes for The Klumps than a multi-million dollar advertising campaign. That may be the reason why the campaign didn’t last, but the Lebrons, for better or worse, did.
The family of four – each embodying and named after a different character trait of the 26-year-old NBA two-time MVP Lebron James, including Kid, Wise, Business, and Athlete – stars in a shiny new, long-anticipated, 10-episode animated web series called The LeBrons. If you think life lessons conveyed in the form of wacky cartoon hijinks in five minute installments is an excellent way to “empower kids to be their best,” this program is for you.
Maybe I’m letting my dislike of LeBron cloud my judgement. Maybe 22-minute episodes of the Brady Bunch and Full House, 60-second G.I. Joe Now You Know PSAs, and an hour and a half of The Cable Guy show how you can educate children on how to be better people by way of sitcom. But I don’t think so.
If LeBron’s goal with The LeBrons is what he says it is – to use his voice, his power to inspire kids – I think there are more suitable ways to go about its accomplishment. The guy seems to be generous enough with his tens of millions of dollar a year in earnings. What about a web series showcasing and/or developed around one of those efforts or organizations in which LeBron is already involved? That kind of program would be a far more valuable use of HP, Intel, Sprite, and Bing’s sponsorship dollars than indulging in a super star athlete’s off-the-court hero fantasies. It would also give King James’ a more direct way to positively influence his young disciples.